Chanakya by Mihir Bhuta


The Play

Chanakya brings to life the great visionary and statesmen, Chanakya, but in a modern context. Realizing the threat of invasion and conquest and equally driven by the desire to improve the condition of his kingdom, Chanakya decided that it was imperative to create an authority figure who could rule the subcontinent as well as the hearts of his subjects. It was because of his brilliant manoeuvers and the integrity of his intentions that the cruel rule of the Nandas ended and was replaced by the Mauryan Empire, marking the beginning of a new era in Indian history.

The second version of Chanakya was started immediately after the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and its first show was dedicated to the memory of martyr Constable Tukaram Umbale.

 Director’s Note

Internal discord, external threat, polluted politics and the despicable corruption of public servants – Was this the scenario in the times of Chanakya? Or are these just the headlines of today’s newspaper? The fabric of our once magnificent society has corroded from within and without, and we are plagued by the decay of morality and social consciousness. Only the austerity and selfless commitment of Chanakya’s thoughts and concepts can rebuild this society and restore it to its previous glory. This play is our modest attempt to look into the past and to present an opportunity for introspection for society and its leaders.

The Director

Manoj Joshi has been an actor on stage, in television and in films for the last twenty five years. His work includes performances in television serials like Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka, Damini, Kehta Hai Dil, Yeh Meri Life Hai, and others; and films like Aan –Men At Work directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, Jaago directed by Mehul Kumar, and Devdas directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His work on stage includes Hindi plays like Chanakya, Rageela Re, Golmaal Pyar Ka, and Gujarati plays Suryavanshi, Doctor Tamhe Pann, Gandhi Virrudh Gandhi, among others.


Mihir Bhuta is a well known playwright of theatre from Gujarat. He has to his credit more than fifteen plays such as Atank, Atmas and Shapath. He has won ‘Best Writer’s’ Trophy in the full length play competition organized by the Abhiyan Magazine and the ‘Best Script of the Decade’ award for Chanakya by the Gujarat Government. He has written for Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi television serials such as Khel, Aakaashpeltana and Chauraha. He has also written for films like Tore Aanchi Ki Chaiyaa Tale and Shortkut. Mr. Bhuta is also a member of the Committee for Awards for Gujarati Films; has designed and runs the Gurjari Channel and the Sankraman Studio as Creative Director.

The Group

‘Manoj Joshi Creations’ started its production of Gujarati and Hindi plays and theatre activities in 1995. The prime objective of the group is to promote theatre artists, youth and other aspirants. Some of the group’s major productions include Rangeelo, Ghasiram Kotwal, Rangeela Re and Shobha Yatra. In 2008 it produced three one-act plays, Chhoti Si Kahani Se, with amateur actors to promote inter-collegiate theater activities; and in 2009 it revived the Hindi historical Chanakya.

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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